Something significant happened to me this week. For the first time in over year I took my last weekly red-eye flight, which typically gets me from home in Los Angeles on Sunday night to my client in Indianapolis on Monday morning. Doing red eyes for such a long period of time has taught me many things. First, that sleep is extremely important. Second, that getting a weekly routine and being efficient really helps. And third, that you can really only do this mode travel for a short period of time.
I’m going to make this post fairly short compared to to the others with a few tips and tricks that I have learned during this period of time.
- Eat a good heavy meal that helps makes you want to sleep (typically 1 – 2 hours before the flight
- Try and get the best airline status as possible as getting upgraded really helps and is more likely with the higher status
- Always choose a window seat and use sites like seat guru
- Try not to drink fluids less than an hour before the flight as this helps reduce the risk that you want to go to the toilet midflight
- Don’t wear an eye mask with writing on the front that is funny. For example I had an eye mask with writing on the front which said “Beware, I sleep walk”. After three weeks of wearing it I had nearly every flight attendant make a comment and bring they colleagues to come see the eye mask as well. Not a great recipe for sleeping when you can hear them all talk about you.
- Where a plain eye mask
- Install an application on your smart phone that can generate pink noise. Most people know of white noise however pink noise works at a slightly different frequency that aids sleeping; or so they say
- If you fly with one particular airline and you will be connecting to another flight try and make sure the first flight (which typically is the red eye flight) is the longest so that you can maximize the house asleep you can get
- Make a strong attempt at not getting frustrated at people bumping and leading into you when they are boarding the flight. Shit happens.
As of next week I will be flying during the day. I typically work on the plane during the daytime so I’m looking forward to getting those extra few hours of productivity in rather the alternative.